Nelson’s population is expected to increase by 4.5% in the next 10 years, and by 13.5% by 2041 – mainly due to net migration. Population growth presents both challenges and opportunities for Council.

More people will bring talent and investment to the region, and help grow the region’s economy. Nelson will become more vibrant and enhance its position as the commercial and cultural heart of the Top of the South.

While growth presents opportunities for the City, it also comes with challenges, which Council is planning to address. These centre on the availability of housing, and increased demand for services.

There are a large number of variables associated with the COVID-19 crisis which will impact migration into and out of Nelson, including border closures and unemployment. Despite these uncertainties, Council is planning its response based on projections from Statistics New Zealand.

How Nelson is expected to grow

During the 2021-31 period, Nelson is projected to move from low to higher net migration levels, as the country recovers from the financial impact of COVID-19 and international borders open.

Council has used these growth projections to plan its work programme appropriately for this Long Term Plan, in order to meet future demand for infrastructure and services.